Who Provides Veteran Education Benefits to Veterans in Vermont?
There are two sources of government provided education benefits for veterans in Vermont.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The majority of education programs for veterans are administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, usually just referred to as the VA. This includes the GI Bill. Their website is a must visit for veterans looking to find information about how the VA can help them continue their education.
- VA Education Benefits - (888) 442-4551
Vermont National Guard
Members of the Vermont National Guard are eligible for various tuition assistance programs. To learn more about these benefits, contact their Education Office.
- VT National Guard Education Office - (802) 338-3346
Is There a Resource for Vermonters Looking to Go to School?
Yes. The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) is a public nonprofit agency that helps Vermonters who want to go to college or other training after high school. They provide grants, loans, scholarships, career and education planning, and general information about how you, or others in your family, can get the education you want. VSAC also administers a small number of private scholarships for veterans and their families. Any Vermonter, not just veterans, considering going back to school should contact them to find out what assistance is available.
- Vermont Student Assistance Corporation - (800) 642-3177
How Do I Use My GI Bill Benefits?
The GI Bill is a great benefit program, but like most government programs a certain procedure needs to be followed to use it. Failure to follow the steps below could delay payments or even result in nonpayment.
Step 1: Educate Yourself About the Program
Students are expected to learn about a given subject, and for those veterans who want to use the GI Bill the first subject they need to tackle is information about the program itself. Some of the veterans who report experiencing problems with this program did not educate themselves about their benefit before starting their studies. The two websites below will give you the information you need to plan for your education.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Website
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's New GI Bill Website
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Information at You Tube
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Information at Facebook
Step 2: Apply for the Benefit
Benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including the GI Bill, are not automatic. You must apply for them, and you can do so at the VA’s website.
Step 3: Find an “Approved Program” at the School or Training Facility
The GI Bill can only be used at programs that meet federal statutory and regulatory guidelines. Even at well established universities, not all programs at the university will meet these guidelines. Contact the school you are interested in and ask to speak to the “VA Certifying Official”. Often this person works in the school's Registrar's Office. The certifying official can tell you which of their programs are approved for use with the GI Bill. If you enroll in a program that is not approved, you will not receive benefits. If the school can not tell you who their certifying official is, call the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs at (802) 828-1082.
Step 4: Enroll
By this step you will have already applied for and been approved by the VA for education benefits, and you will have found an approved program that meets your needs. If you enroll before completing Steps 2 and 3, there is the possibility that you will not receive benefits, which could result in your paying out of pocket for your education expenses and not being reimbursed.
Can I Use Education Benefits if I don’t Want to Go to College?
Yes. Some trade schools in Vermont have programs approved for use with the GI Bill, including welding and truck driving. Contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs for information about trade school programs.
GI Bill benefits can also be used for apprenticeships and On-the-Job (OJT) training programs. Apprenticeships are processed by the Vermont Department of Labor. OJT programs are reviewed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Liaison Representative for Vermont.
- Trade Schools - Office of Veterans Affairs, Education Consultant - (802) 828-1082
- Apprenticeships - Vermont Department of Labor - (802) 828-5082
- On-the-Job Training (OJT) - VA Education Liaison Representative - (860) 666-7324
I Heard There is a New GI Bill Program… How Will it Affect Me?
Good question. The Post 9/11 GI Bill began in August 2009. In addition, the Montgomery GI Bill is still operating. Veterans will need to consider their individual circumstances to determine which GI Bill program works best for their educational goals. Veterans need to educate themselves on these programs, and the best sources of information on them are listed below.